Unusual Weddings in Scotland
How to get married in Scotland - the practicalities
You can have a religious or a civil marriage in Scotland. A religious marriage may take place anywhere that an officiating clergy will agree to. This kind of wedding can also be conducted according to other belief systems. A civil wedding can be held in a registration office or in any of a list of approved places - or you can apply for a 'temporary approval' of your selected location. For full details of the legalities and the administration of the ceremony contact the General Register Office for Scotland.
Let Nature arrange the flowers
You could tie in your special day with a flowering season. For instance, the Bluebell Woods at Balquhidder is a popular spot for late spring weddings, when the woodland floor is bright with flowers. Also in Balquhidder Glen, little Loch Doine, beside the larger waters of Loch Voil below the rugged 'Braes of Balquhidder', often has a similar role as a romantic backdrop.
Woodland weddings, lochs and riverside settings
How about the woods and water at the Caig Falls north-west of Fort William towards Loch Arkaig? This is a licensed site operated by the Forestry Commission. With its picturesque old stone bridge, deep pool and tumbling water, it's as romantic a spot as you could imagine for a small civil ceremony. (You can also hire the wee car park here as part of the package!) It was also one of the locations for the film Rob Roy.
The Hermitage by Dunkeld (National Trust for Scotland) and the Falls of Bruar, further up the A9, are two other scenic waterfall sites. There are also beaches by Loch Lomond and even ancient oak trees there as well that have all been settings for unforgettable days.
Transport with a difference
There are lots of transport themes to make your celebrations different. For example, the steamer the SS Sir Walter Scott has been sailing on Loch Katrine for more than a century and you could become a Lady of the Lake on your big day in the Trossachs, or the historic setting of the 1824 Frigate Unicorn at Dundee.
Loch Lomond Seaplanes offer one of the most spectacular ways of arriving or departing and could whisk you to a remote lochside destination, yet one that is only minutes from central Scotland. Another way of taking to the skies on your wedding day is to hire a hot air balloon.
Film locations for weddings
It's obvious that the movie industry has an eye for unusual and spectacular locations. Rob Roy, for example, used the Caig Falls (see above) but also a wide variety of locations including Glen Coe, Glen Nevis, Glen Tarbert, Rannoch Moor, Morar, and castles such as Crighton, Megginch and Drummond. So it's hardly surprising that many locations from feature films are also popular wedding venues or, at the very least, locations for wedding photography. The breathtaking white sands at Camusdarroch near Arisaig on the road to Mallaig - as featured in the film Local Hero - are, for example, also a licensed location, while the formal gardens at Drummond Castle have been the backdrop to several wedding portraits - in addition to a duelling scene in Rob Roy!
Another distinguished film location also licensed for wedding ceremonies is Doune Castle, (Historic Scotland) famous for its role in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Similarly, Dunfermline Abbey may prove a popular spot for film buffs, as it appears in the 1997 film version of Macbeth.
Historic Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland
In addition to the many castles and stately homes in private ownership able to host weddings, organisations such as Historic Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland have wide experience of event organising. The NTS choice includes, for example, several properties on Grampian's famous Castle Trail. Historic Scotland also make some of their properties available, with a range that includes, for ceremonies only, places such as the romantic ruins of Dryburgh Abbey by the River Tweed, Elgin Cathedral or the equally romantic Edzell Castle and garden. The choice for ceremony and reception takes in such 'high profile' properties as Edinburgh, Stirling or Urquhart Castles.
Have an adventurous day and let the whole world share
If you want to stage the highest wedding in the UK, then Cairngorm Mountain will fit the bill. Everything is up there, at the top of the funicular railway - the venue and the catering facilities, as well as the view!
Whatever format your wedding takes remember that technology will allow the world to share it. Dundee City is the first local authority in Scotland to web-cast civil marriages not just from its own premises, but from any location which the officiating registrar attends.
Dundee City Registrar: Grant Law: Tel: 01382 435223